written by: Dickson Namisi
A communications assistant in MICT&NG
Pope Francis once stated that, “These days there is a lot of poverty in the world, and that’s a scandal when we have so many riches and resources to give to everyone. We all have to think about how we can become a little poorer.” His analogy clearly defines the hidden enemy that has kept man kind poorer than he/she should be not only in Uganda but in the entire world.
Understanding the basic definition of poverty as the lack or insufficiency of money to meet basic needs, including food, clothing and shelter which is entailed in relation to the expenditure that is compared to a threshold called the poverty line; This thought leaves much more anger in the hearts of humanity to throw all sorts of stones to the enemy that brings poverty in Uganda.
According to the 2016 Poverty Assessment, Uganda reduced monetary poverty at a very rapid rate. The proportion of the Ugandan population living below the national poverty line declined from 31.1% in 2006 to 19.7% in 2013. Similarly, the country was one of the fastest in Sub-Saharan Africa to reduce the share of its population living on $1.90 PPP per day or less, from 53.2% in 2006 to 34.6% in 2013. Nonetheless, the country is lagging behind in several important non-monetary areas, notably improved sanitation, access to electricity, education, and child malnutrition.
However, the 34-year tenure of the National Resistance Movement under the custodianship of H.E the President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni seems to explain quite a lot of pending facts on the increasing number of poverty and unemployment in Uganda today. Despite his tireless efforts to streamline all sectors of the economy into sufficient and functional attributes like setting up schools, health facilities, roads, security to mention but a few still raises eyebrows on a one-million-dollar question, “Who is responsible for Unemployment and Poverty in Uganda today?” According to my analysis, three factors that co-exist with the inter dependence on each other justify the cause of the above problems under which we should allocate blame.
First and foremost, should we allocate blame to GOD? Analyzing God’s role in the wellbeing of human kind is best described by Winston Churchill in his book, ““My African Journey” published in 1908, an explorer that referred to Uganda as the “Pearl of Africa”, with regards to a Safari to Uganda which he took in 1907. They were stunned by Uganda’s beauty, her natural wonders and above all her hospitable welcoming people. Critically thinking about the natural beauty for example, Mountains, climate & weather, fertile soils, wild life & birds, water bodies that were exaggerated by the natural creation of crater lakes, the green cover across the nation, to mention but a few. These attributes clearly confirm God’s will to enable Ugandans make their country a better place. Lack of knowledge to put to perfect use the natural God given attributes to uplift our standards of living leaves God so innocent in the blame of making Ugandans unemployed and poor.
Second in scrutiny is Government. Before focusing our tantrums towards Government and its illusional failures that we attribute to our unemployment and poverty, lets first clarify some of the attributes put in place to make us better. Peace, security and stability has maximumly been achieved in Uganda today, something that has attracted thousands of investors in the country,
Roads Infrastructure that has eased transportation of both people and good/services across the country. Its evident enough to prove that even the feeder roads are accessible to those transporting their products to the markets or from one place to another. In fact, from 1986 to 2019, Government under the custodianship of H.E the President Yoweri Kaguta Museven, has managed to attain four thousand three hundred and sixty three (4363km) kilometers of new tarmac roads, one thousand six hundred and twenty one (1621km) Kilometers of old repaired tarmac roads, while those under Uganda National Roads Authority maintenance are twenty thousand (20,000 km) kilometers. Putting in consideration the improvement of water transport and revival of the Uganda Airlines gives us reason to entrust the National Resistance Movement with five more years of national leadership.
Energy: After the establishment of several power stations like Karuma dam that will offer 600MW, Isimba-183 MW, Nyagak 3.5MW, Sindila- 5.25 MW, Soroti solar power station- 10 MW, Kabulasoke solar power station- 20MW and Tororo solar power station-10 MW give us no doubt that we have excessive power supply than we use in the country. This saw the raise of several factories in Uganda that created thousands of jobs to Ugandans and added value to the production of goods and services that have reduced importation of already available goods into the country.
Education: As thousands blame Government for the education system in Uganda, it leaves us much more questions as how we shall over shadow the British kind system vie za vie the particle system. However, I proudly notify citizens that our enrollment of Secondary schools in 1986 was 506 as compare to 2832 with 1207 Government aided schools and in University enrollment, 5390 students were entailed in 1986 as compared to 200,238 students in 2016.
Other attributes include, improvement of the Health sector, tourism, economy and industrialization, youth and women empowerment, and ICT. Amidst all the above, we critically lay less of our blame of being unemployed and poor on Government despite a few challenges that hinder rapid growth.
Thirdly, the critical problem remaining in play that we must all blame for unemployment and poverty even after God gave us all the necessary attributes to make Uganda the best place to live, Government that has tried its best with limited resource base to put in place all the vital structures to steer growth of the economy in which man kind is a factor have less to blame but INDIVIDUAL mindset. Our attitudes create illusions of poverty amidst us and strengthen the bond of self- failure to attain basic needs by miss allocation of blames to unnecessary focal points like GOD and Government. However, God has empowered man kind with all the resources to make the world a better place and so does Government that has streamlined all its resources to make Uganda a heaven of prosperity rather than a grave of failure. Human attitude towards growth has crippled Ugandan to believe that Government is the reason they are in poverty instead of utilizing All the structures put in place to make personal lives better.